Book Review: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Read­ing a book like A Princess of Mars you have to make certain allowances.

The story is almost 100 years old and pre-dates science fiction as an estab­lished genre and it was writ­ten in a pulp style. Inevitably the tone and refer­ences are dated. Addi­tion­ally some of the elements which would have seemed bold and orig­i­nal at the time now appear heav­ily over-used.

It might be tempt­ing to rate the book more highly for its huge signif­i­cance and influ­ence on the sci-fi genre, but that is really a sepa­rate issue to how enjoy­able the story is itself.

It’s certainly an easy read, moving quickly from adven­ture to adven­ture and keep­ing its hero in peril. But even the quick pace can’t disguise the flaws. 

There are just a few too many coin­ci­dences. A few too many times when John Carter is able to casu­ally get himself into just exactly the right loca­tion or have just exactly the right conver­sa­tion. And those story flaws are hard for me to ignore.

So in the end I come away from the book dissat­is­fied. I see the elements of what made me love things like Flash Gordon here. I recog­nize it’s signif­i­cance, that it pre-dates so many of the things I like.

But in the end I couldn’t connect with the “perfec­tion” that is John Carter and while the world is described in consid­er­able detail, I found the char­ac­ters largely one dimen­sional and just could not connect with it the way I had hoped.

Link: http://​amzn​.to/​R​r​2​lQX

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About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?


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